Digitalsmiths, a developer of video search and Web viewer demographic technology called VideoSense, is about to close on several million dollars in first-round venture financing.
The company, which recently relocated most of its operations to the Triangle from Beaufort, S.C., isn’t disclosing yet who the investors are. But interest is so keen that the startup could indeed take in additional funds.
“We are in the absolute final stages of negotiations,” Chief Executive Officer Ben Weinberger told WRAL Local Tech Wire. “We are very close to closing with two groups.
“We were looking to raise no less than $5 million,” he added. “It looks like it will be a little more than that.”
The increasing popularity of video on the Web coupled with Digitalsmith’s proprietary technology, produced what Weinberger called “good response” to the firm’s investment pitch. According to Weinberger, Digitalsmiths “can do for video what Google has done for text on the Web.” The information it acquires from Web viewers enables clients to match visitors with advertising content that meets their demographic and viewing criteria. Viewers and ads are matched based on audio recognition, video recognition, and behavioral data.
“Other people have expressed an interest,” Weinberger said, “so we are talking to other groups as well.”
Digitalsmiths, which was founded in 1998, did raise “less than $1 million” from a group of angel investors last year, Weinberger added.
The company plans to more than double its staff to approximately 20 from seven once the funding is in place. Weinberger said he and co-founder Matthew Berry, who also is chief technology officer, will be looking to hire engineers as well as additional executives for the management team.
Digitalsmiths is currently in temporary quarters and negotiating terms for more permanent space. The company’s finance operation will remain inn Beaufort, Weinberger said.
In choosing to move most of the firm’s operations to the Triangle, Weinberger cited two primary reasons: recruiting and quality of life.
“I think the Triangle affords a deeper and more talented engineering base to recruit from,” he said. “This is also an attractive area for those people to relocate too.
“We are a Linux-based shop,” he added in reference to the open source software, “and this one of the best Linux centers in the country with Red Hat, Lenovo and IBM.”